The Superleague Greece is the top division in Greece and is currently ranked 13th in the UEFA ranking of European leagues. It was formed in 2006 when it replaced Alpha Ethniki at top of the Greek football pyramid.
The league features 18 teams playing in 34 games each through the season which lasts from August to May. The bottom four at the end of the season are directly relegated to the second division with no play-offs. The champions of the Superleague qualify straight to the group stages of the Champions League while the second through fifth teams enter a play-off for the second Greek entry. The play-off winner joins the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round while the play-off runner up and the winner of Greek Cup automatically qualify for the UEFA Europa League.
Number of teams: 18
Level on the pyramid: 1
Domestic cup: Greek Cup
International cup: UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League
Current champions: Olympiacos
Average annual salary: 200,000 €
Transfer window: 2nd January – 1st February and 1st July – 31st August
Season duration: August – May
Number of allowed foreign players per team: 5
Average stadium attendances: 3319
Since the first official season in 1927 only six clubs have managed to win a title. The so-called big three from Athens hold the most titles with Olympiacos leading the pack with astonishing 42 titles, followed by Panathinaikos with and AEK Athens with 11. The current champions Olympiacos have won the league for the last ten years in a row. The only other three teams who’ve managed to win a title in Greece are Aris (3), PAOK (2) and Larissa (1).
An abundance of foreign players
The average age of players in the league is around 25,5 years and almost 40% of the players come from abroad. Teams are allowed to have 5 non-EU players, where EU stands for players from European Union countries and Turkey, Russia, Croatia, Algeria, Tunisia, Albania, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Morocco.
Teams are able to buy players in two transfer windows, where the winter one lasts for the whole month of January and the summer windows is opened from the start of July to the end of August. In 2014/15 season the clubs have spent more than 23 million euros on players. From the players who joined Superleague this season from abroad, the most have arrived from the Spanish La Liga, 10, while 9 players came from Serbian SuperLiga and 8 players arrived from Cypriot First Division, Belgian Jupiler Pro League and French Ligue 2. Otherwise the most transfer arrivals happen between the clubs in Greece as no less than 99 players changed teams in the Greek top division last season while 69 players joined from the second division. A large number of players left Superleague for the Greek second division – 143. From the players moving abroad, the most players transferred to Cyprus (10) and Serie A (7).
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